Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Product Endorsement: TI Graphing Calculators

It occurred to me today that it's been over 18 years since I first got my own, brand new, TI-85 graphing calculator. At the time, it was the top of the line, and I was thrilled to have it. And since I have been a math teacher for most of those last 18 years, it has gotten a tremendous amount of use.

And it works just as well today as the day I bought it.

In the meantime, I have added a TI-83 to my calculator collection. I do not use it quite as often as my TI-85, but it, too, has served me well.

One thing I have done just a few times, but which my students have collectively done many times, is to drop my graphing calculator on the floor—often a tile floor, sometimes carpet. I always instinctively cringe whenever I see or hear one of them reach the floor under the influence of gravity—but today I cannot recall a student who had to do anything more than put the batteries back in to get it to work properly. If the product can also survive years in a teen's backpack, then surely it is durable!

I would happily encourage anyone needing a graphing calculator to purchase the appropriate level Texas Instruments machine. They are durable, relatively user-friendly (relative to your mathematical understanding, that is), and even have a pretty good resale value, should you decide to exchange yours for cash.


DeanO said...

What a reminder - it occurs to me that I purchased my first TI calculator in 1976. 9 volt batter and a red digital readout. As I recall - the keys were really stiff and made a click when you pressed them. I use an old Casio fx-250HA for what little math I can remember. Has it been that long since they came out?

Ken said...

DeanO--I should have mentioned that my father has one of those 1970's-era TI calculators, too...and his is still in working order. I have one called a "Little Professor" that posed math problems for the user to solve. Tremendous tool for learning my math facts as a child. And, yes, it still works too.

Pat said...

I have a TI-30 that is over 20 years old. I've never even replaced the batteries. It's been through high school and college backpacks and is still just as good as new! Now, my 8-year-old uses it on occasion.